Originally published January 31, 2019

Artificial intelligence is reshaping every aspect of our lives, from transportation to agriculture to dating. Someday, we may even create a superintelligence–a computer system that is demonstrably smarter than humans. But there is widespread disagreement on how soon we could build a superintelligence. There is not even a broad consensus on how we can define the term “intelligence”.

Information technology is improving so rapidly we are losing the ability to forecast the near future. Even the most well-informed politicians and business people are constantly surprised by technological changes, and the downstream impact on society. Today, the most accurate guidance on the pace of technology comes from the scientists and the engineers who are building the tools of our future.

Martin Ford is a computer engineer and the author of Architects of Intelligence, a new book of interviews with the top researchers in artificial intelligence. His interviewees include Jeff Dean, Andrew Ng, Demis Hassabis, Ian Goodfellow, and Ray Kurzweil.

Architects of Intelligence is a privileged look at how AI is developing. Martin Ford surveys these different AI experts with similar questions. How will China’s adoption of AI differ from that of the US? What is the difference between the human brain and that of a computer? What are the low-hanging fruit applications of AI that we have yet to build?

Martin joins the show to talk about his new book. In our conversation, Martin synthesizes ideas from these different researchers, and describes the key areas of disagreement from across the field.

 

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